In addition I forgot to mention i heard the fosgate tube headphone amp on day 1 as well.It sounded very good driving both the sennheiser 800s and the audeze lcd 3s.It had a lot of the qualities you get when listening to tubes but the bass was pretty tight sounding.It was hard to hear it the way it could sound with all the ambient noise floating around the mezzanine level but it did sound like it is worth checking out the foisgate under more isolated conditions.
I went back to the show on day 2 and went listening to mostly speaker based set ups and found that most of the setups were actually pretty good sounding with some but not severe room related problems like you get at a lot of these shows.It is hard getting a handle on what equipment actually sounds like when room problems are present and can severely skewerer the sound of a given set up.My kudos to a job well done in getting most of the set ups to a point were room problems do not limit the analysis.
on day two I hit the other two floors and I missed and went back to some of the rooms I had gone to on day 1.
The janszen room sounded pretty good using the e20dac from exaSound even though the room was smallish.They sounded quite large sounding for their somewhat compact dimensions being powered by bryston power blocks integral to the speaker but which have to purchased seperately.
I liked the van alstine room it was very musical sounding through their speakers.This is the first time I have heard their speakers and they sounded good.The audio power labs room was amazing sounding they had a leonardo planar speaker paired with their equipment .The amps were very attractive looking tube mono blocks.Each amp has six tubes with one rather large tube.They were using the memory cd player if I am correct and the sound was gloriously relaxed and analog like for digital music.The speakers are rather large magnepan like speakers which I believe were from italy if I can recall.They were set up only about a couple of feet from the side walls and I was amazed at how coherent this room sounded.The speakers just disappeared and the room boundaries just disappeared as well.The exhibitor played back several digital file recordings including a sarah vaughn recording that sounded like she was in the room and things just sounded so analog like.I was at this room a bit longer than most.
the YG acoustics carmel speaker sounded impressive and very palpable sounding using veloce monoblocks and a veloce preamp with an accuphase cd player.The atmosphere room was great sounding too using a compact two way with a ribbon tweeter designed by the same person that designed and brought the red rose speaker to market.Apparently he has improved his design they sounded very coherent with much more body than one usually hears from a design with only a 5 1/2 inch bass driver.The bass was full bodied with good dynamics but also very tight and quick sounding as well.The atmosphere room was very listenable as well.
I also visited the van l. speakerworks room and he was demoing his new silhouette floorstander to good effect with some mod wright equipment including their modded oppo bdp 105 with tube outputs and and this room sounded impressive as well while still beeing ralaxed and very analog like.I realy liked the setup.
The holm audio room was using a floorstanding sony with technolgy passed down from their top of the line offerings and it sounded very good beeing relaxed and fairly resolute using a hegel preamp/amp setup.This is the first time I have heard hegel and it does sound good.
The triode corporation room sounded good as well.The acoustic zen crescendo speaker sounded great with the TRIODE preamp and TRIODE trx-m845 mono block amps that were driving them.The build quality on the TRIODE amps is truely exceptional those transformers are large.
I visited the heron room and they were playing vinyl and things sounded relaxed and very listenable on a vpi classic three turnatable setup If I can recall using a fairly large foorstanding speaker which heron is considering to produce.They imaged quite like a smaller speaker which was surprising for such a large speaker.
I visited the decbal audio room and they wer demoing the new sphynx integrated from rogue audio.Wow does this amp sound great.The amp has a tube input section with a solid state output section.I think rogue is going to sell a ton of these it sounds simply unbelievably good for its 1395 dollar price.It even has a phono preamp in it. It has a headphone output which I listened to for,a couple of cuts and it souned pretty good with the premuim grado headphone he used.I think it was the gs 1000 wood enclosed phone.The speakers he was using to demo the amp with were the harbeth 30.1 monitors.The combination works really well and the sound was quite listenable.I think the rogue can compete with quite a few of the esoteric integrateds and not be embarrassed.
I purchased several cd recordings from m.a recordings. The recording quality on this label is amazing. I only have to say the material might not be what most people like to listen to so be forewarned.They do make great demo cds and recordings but most of the music is not mainstream in the least on the recordings that I purchased. Oh well that happens sometimes on audiophile recordings that initially impress us on a sonic basis.We find out in the long term that it sometimes is not something we want to listen to casually or for entertaiment.
Well that is all I can remeber from day two after the sensory overload at the show.Speaking of that I was going to go home and relax after day two but I remembered that the northwestern university orchestra had a concert at the pick staiger concert venue.So I went to the concert.They played three pieces the Fantasia and Fugue in C minor from BACH arranged by ELGAR for orchestra, the ELGAR cello Concerto in E Minor OP. 85, and the BRAHMS Concerto No. 1 for Piano in D Minor OP. 15. Well it was awsome sounding in away that no soundsystem on earth can replicate. The sound of equipment can be good but really there is no way it can come close to the sound of the real thing.Case closed.
Edited by buson160man - 3/14/13 at 6:00am